exactEarth recently signed up to assist in a new vessel routing program run by the European Union. The MONALISA project aims at giving a concrete contribution to the efficient, safe and environmentally friendly maritime transport. The initial focus is on the major navigational areas in Swedish and Finnish waters in the Baltic Sea which will contribute to improving overall safety and optimization of ship routes.
The US FCC has recently approved transmissions by AIS SART devices. These devices were originally designed for SOLAS class ships as an alternative to radar SARTs for carriage on life boats, but the efficiency of design has encouraged applications down to man-over-board devices. I started to question how this new large population of AIS devices could best be tracked.
The sinking of the Titanic on April 15, 1912, caused drastic changes within the shipping industry with the introduction of new rules and regulations to prevent such a catastrophe from happening again. As the 100th anniversary of the Titanic tragedy passes, I thought it might be useful to discuss the process that would happen today if such a disaster were to occur.
Last week, I attended a joint WG3 and WG4 (communications and AIS) e-NAV subcommittee meeting to define e-Navigation communications.
Recently, two merchant vessels collided in the Bay of Biscay about 250 miles from Land’s End. One of the vessels began taking on water and its crew of seven took to two life rafts before the vessel sank.
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) will be deciding whether to allocate specific channels for satellite detection of AIS. The decision is scheduled during the next world radio conference (WRC) in January/February of 2012. Early speculation leads me to believe that the ITU will approve these channels so I’ve started pondering the implications. Once approved, Satellite AIS will enter a new phase in the political arena where it will be recognized as a technology that is positioned to support future developments such as inclusion in the next generation GMDSS (global maritime distress and safety system), small vessel tracking, and possibly even inclusion into the IMO LRIT system for vessel tracking.
New amendments have been added to SOLAS regulation regarding the annual testing of AIS systems. Now all systems will have to be subjected to annual testing conducted by an approved surveyor or servicing facility. The tests will be looking to verify the correct programming of the ship static information and data exchange as well as verifying the radio performance. This new regulation will result in surveyors being equipped with special AIS test equipment and very detailed technical knowledge. The firm conducting the testing must be certified to work on AIS equipment and the surveyors must hold a formal DNV or national AIS service supplier approval. For the full article, click here.
Recently the UK announced that ships sailing under Britain's flag will be permitted to carry armed guards on some perilous routes to combat the threat from pirates. Click here for more on that story. David Cameron, PM of Britain, stated, “The evidence is that ships with armed guards don't get attacked, don't get taken for hostage or for ransom, and so we think this is a very important step forward”